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Quercus humboldtii

Quercus humboldtii, commonly known as the Andean oak, Colombian oak or roble, is a species of oak in the beech family found only in Colombia and Panamá. It is named for Alexander von Humboldt. It grows in the mountains with an altitudinal range from 1,000 to 3,200 m. It is found on all three Colombian Andean mountain ranges and some lowland inter-Andean regions.[2][3][4]

Quercus humboldtii
Quercus humboldtii 1.JPG
Leaves and fruit of Quercus humboldtii
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Subgenus: Quercus subg. Quercus
Section: Quercus sect. Lobatae
Q. humboldtii
Binomial name
Quercus humboldtii
Quercus humboldtii planted in Bogota Botanical Garden.


Quercus humboldtii is an evergreen tree which grows to a height of 25 meters and a diameter of 1 meter, with buttresses of up to 1 meter. Its bark is reddish grey or grey and fissured, breaking into squares and flaking. The leaves simple, alternate and lanceolate, up to 10–20 cm long, and clustered at the ends of the branches. The flowers are small, yellow, and unisexual, with a racemic inflorescence. Male flowers are numerous, with long-styled female flowers in a cupula. The fruit is a light brown, ovoid capsule, or acorn, with a leathery pericarp, 20–25 mm in diameter and 50–70 mm long, resting on a scaly cupule. Only one fruit per cupule is developed, and the inside of the acorn shell is woolly.[5][6][7]

The tree grows in the Andean highlands where the mean annual temperature is 16−24 °C, and the mean annual rainfall 1500–2500 mm. It can be found in moderately fertile and deep soils as well as in degraded soils, preferring shallow soils with a thick layer of humus. The acorns provide important food for wildlife; two parrots - the rusty-faced parrot and Fuertes's parrot - are endemic to the threatened montane ecosystems of the Colombian Andes and are particularly dependent on the Andean oak forests as a home.[5]


  1. ^ The Plant List, Quercus humboldtii Bonpl.
  2. ^ "Biogeography of the Colombian oak, Quercus humboldtii Bonpl: geographical distribution and their climatic adaptation" (PDF). González, Carlos E.; Jarvis, Andy; & Palacio, Juan Diego. International Center for Tropical Agriculture. 2006. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  3. ^ Muller, C. H. 1942. The Central American species of Quercus. United States Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Plant Industry. Miscellaneous Publication 477: 1–216
  4. ^ Muller, C. H. 1960. Flora of Panama, Part IV. Fascicle 2. Fagaceae. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 47(2): 95–104
  5. ^ a b "Quercus humboldtii" (PDF). Orwa C, Mutua A, Kindt R, Jamnadass R, Simons A. Agroforestry Database 4.0. 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  6. ^ Bonpland, Aimé Jacques Alexandre 1809. Plantae Aequinoctiales 2: 155-156 short description in Latin, longer description plus commentary and figure captions in French
  7. ^ Bonpland, Aimé Jacques Alexandre 1809. Plantae Aequinoctiales 2: plate 130 full-page drawing of Quercus humboldtii